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Last updated: Tue. Nov. 20, 2007 - 11:43 am EDT

EACS superintendent announces response to racism

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At a news conference Tuesday, East Allen County Schools Superintendent Kay Novotny presented what the district is doing in response to racist and threatening notes left in the lockers of two black students at Heritage Junior-Senior High School.

A man said his stepson received the note, which included a racial epithet, on Nov. 12. The man reported the incident to the local chapter of the NAACP, which held a community meeting Monday night.

Novotny presented these plans at the news conference:

• Initiate student study circles at Heritage through coordination with the United Way.

• Establish a leadership team to work with both Heritage and Southwick teachers and staff. They'll use a book called, “Courageous Conversations about Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools.”

• Review other needed resources and programs in the community, including Urban League, NAACP, United Way and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

• Get the message out to all students and staff that racial slurs and derogatory comments are not tolerated.

Novotny said the plan would be up on the district Web site, www.eacs.k12.in.us, later Tuesday. The district will also look into setting up a hot line for those who want to report racist incidents.

Also present at the news conference were EACS board president Stephen Terry, Heritage Principal Chris Hissong and assistant principal Todd Thieme.


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